Ex-rebel leader to visit Aceh

Founder of the now defunct Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebel group Hasan Tiro is expected to visit his homeland on Saturday for a traditional ritual at the provincial legislative council. Kompas.com reported Thursday that the charismatic leader would also hold a consolidation meeting with executives of the ruling Aceh Party. “There will be many things on the table during the meeting,” spokesman for the party, Ligadinsyah, said. “We don’t know how long he will visit Aceh, but it must be longer than his latest trip to Aceh last year.” Tiro made a historic return to Aceh last year after decades of self-exile to lead a rebellion against Jakarta rule. Following a landmark peace deal in 2005, GAM was dissolved and founded the Aceh Party, the only local party allowed to exist in the country, which won the most votes in 2009 legislative elections and secured nearly a half of the legislative seats. The Aceh Party will deploy 200 security guards; some of whom had undergone military training in Libya, to protect Tiro during his stay in Aceh. Ligadinsyah said the party security guards would work with the local police to maintain order during Tiro’s visit.

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